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Korea Foundation partners with UH Mānoa

Gift will support Center for Korean Studies

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Nov 3, 2008

In 2006, the Korea Foundation joined the Center for Korean Studies (CKS) in a partnership through their visionary gift to establish the Center for Korean Studies Rotating Chair Endowment. Representatives of the Korea Foundation attended a ceremony October 31 to present the third installment of $250,000 toward the $1 million gift.

Officials from UH Mānoa, the UH Foundation and CKS were on hand to announce that Center for Korean Studies faculty, the Hawaiʻi community, alumni, and individuals and organizations in Korea have raised more than $600,000 toward the $1 million challenge match. When fully funded, the $2 million endowment will support a chair position at CKS which will rotate among Korea-themed disciplines such as anthropology, art history, religion and theatre/drama.

In 1903, 102 Koreans emigrated to Hawaiʻi to work on the sugar plantations. Today, more than 42,000 Koreans call Hawaiʻi home. In 1972, CKS was established and within a few years began publishing Korean Studies, the first international multidisciplinary journal outside of Korea devoted to the study of Korea. In 1980, construction on the CKS facility on the UH Mānoa

campus was completed with support from local donors, the Hawaiʻi State Legislature and the Korean government.

"We are indebted to the Korea Foundation for its continuing support," said UH Mānoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw. "The Center for Korean Studies was the first in the United States dedicated to the study of Korea. With the support of the Korea Foundation, it now offers the most versatile and diversified Korea-related course offerings and degree programs in the country, features the largest concentration of Korean scholars and resources outside of Korea and is the only Korean language flagship university."

In 1995, the Korea Foundation presented the Center with $2 million for long-term support of its programs. That grant was increased to $3 million by supporters in Hawaiʻi and Korea and has since grown to a $4 million endowment.

The Korea Foundation was established in 1991 by the South Korean National Assembly to enhance the image of Korea in the world and to promote academic and cultural exchange programs.